Update: Stolen car crashes at Walnut and Hinds, 1 teenager hurt

July 8, 2014 at 4:42 pm | In West Seattle news, WS breaking news | 42 Comments

4:42 PM: In South Admiral, the big fire/police response in the past 15 minutes or so was for an “automobile rescue” call at Walnut and Hinds (map). Turned out not to be as bad as reported, so many of the responding units have been canceled. Our crew is en route to find out more.

5:04 PM UPDATE: Added a photo. We’re told the car was stolen from a lot at/near the YMCA building in The Triangle; it hit a tree. Police say a juvenile from the car was injured and taken to a hospital; others were in the car and took off running.

5:47 PM UPDATE: Added a photo that includes the tree (thanks to Paul for sending).

7:37 PM UPDATE: The photo above this line was sent by Mark, whose tree was hit in the crash. He tells us, “This is the 3rd accident of this type (my other huge cedar got hit by some joyriding kid last year) at this location in 7 years. … The city needs to put in traffic circles here. If I had been home, they would have totaled my car, because that is exactly where I park every night.”

THURSDAY AFTERNOON NOTE: We’ve been trying for a couple days to get more information from police. So far, one important update from the information originally available at the scene – the person who was hurt, and trapped in the car, was a passenger, not the driver. We’re still following up on a few more points before writing an update.

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  1. few blocks away; heard nothing

    Comment by Diane — 5:05 pm July 8, 2014 #

  2. I’m sorry for whomever this car belongs to. It seems as if a lot of these crimes are being committed by juveniles, which is disheartening. Hate to say I have zero sympathy for the individual who stole the car and is hurt.

    Comment by natinstl — 5:13 pm July 8, 2014 #

  3. You shoulda seen the other guy, in this case, the tree. That’s what caused the incredible damage

    Comment by ScaryB4Coffee — 5:36 pm July 8, 2014 #

  4. A nearby resident sent a pic that includes the tree. I’m adding it.

    Comment by WSB — 5:47 pm July 8, 2014 #

  5. god this is maddening; teens doing something like this have no idea they could be causing severe hardship to someone who absolutely depends on their car for work, and could lose their employment without it

    Comment by Diane — 6:12 pm July 8, 2014 #

  6. My 4 year old and I walked by the aftemath. If you are going to steal a car, you should at least know how to drive. Glad they only hurt themselves (I hope the tree is OK)

    Comment by s.young — 6:16 pm July 8, 2014 #

  7. That parking lot is surprising crime heavy. My dad had his truck broken into there. I guess it’s near a main road but hidden from sight. Looks like a good place for some security cameras.

    Comment by Rebecca — 6:35 pm July 8, 2014 #

  8. Gosh they must have been going so fast, and this is likely in a neighborhood with kiddos out playing – so the tree’s presence is a blessing.
    -
    Hopefully the teen is charged and prosecuted, regardless it’s physical condition.

    Comment by ScubaFrog — 6:44 pm July 8, 2014 #

  9. A pretty new car turned into a total wreck in 5 minutes or less. If it is a juvenile responsible, the parents should pay for the difference between the blue book and the wreck. I know, I am dreaming, it is the heat.

    Comment by JayDee — 6:49 pm July 8, 2014 #

  10. We are Mark’s neighbors – three houses north on Admiral. There have been way too many accidents at that intersection. I would welcome any advice on how to get a traffic circle created. We need a circle or four way stop signs. There are so many young children in this neighborhood and people speed through here like it’s a highway. I may purchase signs about children playing but I think we need something more structural and official. If you’ve been successful at making a similar change in your neighborhood, I welcome your suggestions.

    Comment by Christine — 7:56 pm July 8, 2014 #

  11. Sue the parents for the full value of the vehicle. Hold them accountable for the actions of their dependents.

    Comment by Ray — 7:57 pm July 8, 2014 #

  12. Hrm…the other juvies in the car took off running, eh? So much for honor among thieves. Hopefully the twit who got injured will finger the others. Throw the book at the lot of them. No sympathy for the brat, and yes, the parentals should pay up. I thought parents were responsible for the acts of their minor children by law?

    Comment by McGruff — 7:59 pm July 8, 2014 #

  13. Real friends would not run off and leave a kid with unknown injuries.

    Comment by gina — 8:14 pm July 8, 2014 #

  14. Christine, I’m sure some experienced folks will answer, but in the short run … we often suggest people to bring issues to their neighborhood council. I’m sitting here right now in the monthly meeting of the Admiral Neighborhood Association just a few blocks north of the crash scene and this would have been a perfect place for someone to bring the speeding issue – ANA has worked with other traffic-safety issues. There’s also a page on the SDOT website to check out if you haven’t seen it already: http://www.westseattlehiyu.com/events-schedule
    .
    http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/trafficcircles.htm
    .
    good luck! – Tracy

    Comment by WSB — 8:31 pm July 8, 2014 #

  15. i don’t *want* to indulge stereotypes, but these kids were probably drunk or high.

    yeah, definitely not real friends because would real friends allow each other to actually steal cars as an entertainment option. There is nothing so honorable as friendship here.

    In the self-defeating, misguided subculture in which they might be operating within, they aren’t friends. they are survivalists with nothing to lose. that’s their mythology. and there is no honor in anything within that belief. it is a given that they do not have real friends. other factors bring them together to “act out”.

    Comment by juvielojik — 8:37 pm July 8, 2014 #

  16. Thank you to all the neighbors that helped clean up the aftermath. While others did most of the cleaning I was able to take care of my kiddo and keep her out of all of the glass.

    Comment by Mark — 8:40 pm July 8, 2014 #

  17. @s.young..that was my first thought…they were 13 and had no clue(I really don’t know their ages)?. Also..broad daylight….what cahones ! With brains like those, I’m surprised they aren’t in permanent summer school. Maybe this child’s friends will visit him in the hospital, and they can nab them there :-

    Comment by JanS — 8:41 pm July 8, 2014 #

  18. I hope to find out a little more when the actual police report is available tomorrow – so until then, what’s above is all we know – this isn’t the kind of incident for which a full report would ever turn up on the SPD website unless they decided to write it up for the SPD Blotter, but I should be able to get the report through a request to media relations. We only got the stolen-car piece of it because I heard it via scanner and had co-publisher Patrick press the point while at the scene.

    Comment by WSB — 8:45 pm July 8, 2014 #

  19. Thank you, Tracy. I will follow up. This issue has been bugging me for a long time. Mark, his partner and their sweet child might have been hurt if those gigantic trees weren’t there. Surely, Mark’s car would have been smashed…Thank goodness he was not at home.

    Comment by Christine — 8:45 pm July 8, 2014 #

  20. Having confronted a few teens around the area regarding other illegal activities and then some of their adult counterparts they are friends of, this is not surprising. The adult guardians of these kids are often just as bad as the kids. No regard for anyone or anything. It’s time for West Seattle residents to start doing like they do on the Eastside, lawyer up and take them to court. Hopefully the owner of this vehicle had full insurance coverage, but they should still get a lawyer and take the kids guardians to court. Pathetic parenting, pathetic youth.

    Comment by Mike — 9:05 pm July 8, 2014 #

  21. Hi Christine! For a solution, there’s always speed radar cameras. People always scream blue murder when I suggest them, citing ’1984′, ‘Big Brother’, etc., but that’s just indicative how how well they scare the folks they’d probably catch. Ask the City about how your street could get one of those; it’s a lot cheaper than a traffic circle, and can pay for itself!

    Comment by McGruff — 9:39 pm July 8, 2014 #

  22. So sorry for Mark and his family, and for the owner of the vehicle.

    More than a little dismayed by the judgements and assumptions many posters here are making about the teen’s unknown guardian. Amazing that people are making up whole stories based on so little information.

    Comment by m — 10:53 pm July 8, 2014 #

  23. I live across the street from Mark at this intersection and have for 30+ years. This has always been a bad intersection because Walnut is a straight shot from the high school and Hinds is a heavily travelled east-west route. Neighbors on our street tried for years to get a traffic circle at this intersection because of all of the accidents that happened – most of them because of speeding and failure to yield. The city told us that there were not enough accidents to warrant a traffic circle. There are accidents or near-misses every month.

    Comment by Wendy — 11:45 pm July 8, 2014 #

  24. McGruff, Great idea for my stretch of 49th. Thanks for the suggestion!

    Comment by wssz — 12:30 am July 9, 2014 #

  25. The judgement and name calling here is disturbing.
    So are the assumptions.
    Hasn’t anybody had a family member, friend or loved one f*up major? If you did,did you start calling their parents names and advise they be sued? What the heck?
    When I was growing up my brother was horrible! The community we lived in did not call us names nor threaten to sue us; instead they rallied around us and helped pull my brother through into a successful productive adult.

    Comment by au — 2:32 am July 9, 2014 #

  26. It’s funny how a traffic circle can prevent children from stealing cars.

    Comment by smokeycretin9 — 5:47 am July 9, 2014 #

  27. AU- Judging by your comment, you clearly didn’t grow up in West Seattle. WE as a community are sick and tired of the car thieves in our neighborhoods. This was done in broad daylight where a lot of folks wake up and find their car stolen, this one was done at a time many families are normally out with their kids and this could’ve turned out way worse than it already was. The name calling is due to the fact that we are all fed up with car theft. FED UP. Its about time we hear about one that gets hurt. I raised my kids, we had trial and error but I sure as hell didn’t find them in jail nor would I ever bail them out if they got themselves there. Yes,its unfortunate for these punks to have decided to do this, but hopefully by them wrecking, getting injured,running etc. this will teach them. We aren’t going to sit here and say “those poor souls, we should help them find their way”. Also, as far as suing ? Why not sue them? Look what they’ve done. Is this acceptable? I don’t care what age, you steal you pay whether it be a candy bar or a plane. That car was totaled. It wasn’t like that when the owner parked it. That owner will never feel the same after this. Every time they go and park it somewhere, they’re gonna wonder if its still going to be there when they come back. How do I know? BECAUSE MY TRUCK WAS STOLEN and never found. I for one won’t be ” rallying” around to help these kids. I don’t want to have any association to car thieves and never will. I am not alone here.

    Comment by alki Resident — 6:35 am July 9, 2014 #

  28. Yes, I am glad that the kid driving got hurt so he will think twice next time… and hopefully tell on the others in the vehicle as well. Suing the guardians is a great idea. Au: I do have an f-up in my extended family– our family had tried to rally behind him and pull him through his drug addictions and bad decisions for years… but the only thing that worked was when he got a BIG wake-up call after an accident. Maybe this is this kid’s wake-up call. If I were the owner of the car, I would want restitution from the kid/his guardians for the damage to my car.

    Comment by wsea — 7:31 am July 9, 2014 #

  29. @ smokey… Huh?
    I think you must’ve missed Christine’s comment.. “There have been way too many accidents at that intersection. I would welcome any advice on how to get a traffic circle created. We need a circle or four way stop signs. There are so many young children in this neighborhood and people speed through here like it’s a highway.”
    Her suggestion had nothing to do with the prevention of kids stealing cars.

    Comment by yes2ws — 8:06 am July 9, 2014 #

  30. I knew that things had permanently changed in WS when the neighbor across the street had her car stolen in broad daylight in front of her house (this is one block off California) Ironically, there is a cop – great neighbor – who lives next door who also had a break-in some years ago.

    Comment by G — 9:36 am July 9, 2014 #

  31. I have great sympathy for the car owner and I have great sympathy for the tree. I have nothing for the thieving jerks that can be printed here.
    If the judicial system would make the parents or next of kin financially responsible for these damages, it might make a difference.

    Comment by Vanessa — 9:38 am July 9, 2014 #

  32. For those of you lucky enough not to know, parents ARE held responsible and fined for their children’s crimes in Seattle. Their is no time in juvie, no community service, the parents must pay the fine. I have a son who I’ve struggled with since he began high school. We’ve been through counseling and treatment (all court ordered mind you because at 14 children in this state can refuse help)to no avail. Our family has also rallied around him but he’s made up his mind about how he wants to behave. Also when he steals (not cars thankfully)the police bring him home, every single time, and he has learned there are no consequences. I punish him, he runs away, the police find him and bring him back home. It’s a very sad and tiring cycle. I understand the frustration here but to say it’s the fault of bad parenting is wrong.

    Comment by helridge — 10:36 am July 9, 2014 #

  33. @Helridge- Im sorry you’re going through this, but its time he doesn’t get the comforts of home when he’s done wrong. Its time to change the locks and give him the boot. He will live with you until he’s 40 if you allow it. If you keep letting him come home, he will forever do this. Mark my words. There will come a time when he over powers you as he gets older and you’ll find yourself in worse shape than now. He can’t have it both way. If he wants to live at home he can follow the rules. If not by by. Tough love is wonderful thing.

    Comment by Alki Resident — 10:56 am July 9, 2014 #

  34. It’s always disturbing and depressing to see the sadistic pleasure that some take in the pain of others, in this case, some screwed-up young person who we know nothing about. And that lovely thought, a young person in pain (maybe even agony!), only gets these types going, and they won’t be happy until every friend and family member of someone they know nothing about is either in prison and/or destroyed in some other horrible way. Classic lynch mob stuff and frightening, frankly. They’ve been here since the dawn of man but, are for the most part ignored and/or avoided. But now, for the first time ever, they actually have a voice in the comment sections of e-publications, which as everybody knows, attract endless wackos of all kinds. In fact, many online publications are ending or severely limiting their comment sections because of the growing problem of trolls (who apparently have nothing better to do than write about how great the world would be if THEY were in charge, and how they WOULD be in charge if only it weren’t for all the stupid, inept, corrupt people in the government who are so cleverly conspiring to keep them in a basement apartment, and the teenage criminals, of course, who are all making them miserable and angry and feeling like they want to hurt someone).
    In the old West, stealing another man’s horse was a hanging offense (according to Gunsmoke, Rawhide and Bonanza). And the crowd who came out for the lynchings back then must be the ancestors of the ones going nuts over a car being stolen today.

    Comment by Bloodlust — 11:32 am July 9, 2014 #

  35. REALLY AGAIN! My only sympathy goes to the owner of the vehicle. As for the sick and tired group in West Seattle add me to the list. It is really sad to see the increased criminal behavior. Have lived here since childhood and it is not even close to what I used to remember and enjoy. Lots of great people but too many who have ill intents. If it were possible I would give these criminals supervised community service no matter what the age and make them work off their debt to society. Like paying back all of those people who’s tires got slashed Unfortunately we don’t have the resources to babysit them I am sure would be the next excuse. Blah, blah,blah.

    Comment by Laura — 11:58 am July 9, 2014 #

  36. “Hasn’t anybody had a family member, friend or loved one f*up major?”

    No. Last “major” issue I know of in my family out to about four degrees was my father’s brother who once did time for kiting checks about sixty years ago. (I’ve held a fairly high security clearance and in my father’s day he was cleared high enough to work as a crew chief on Air Force One. This stuff gets checked pretty thoroughly.)

    You may have a different concept of personal responsibility of course but the parents of a minor child *are* legally responsible for the damage their offspring do and any crimes they commit. Why should the victim be out of pocket because Junior made an “oopsie”?

    Not that felony auto theft *is* an “oopsie”.

    If the parents lack honor and refuse to make good the costs of their failure or their child’s failure, then the courts exist to provide equity for just that reason.

    The community may still “rally round” but that does not mitigate the responsibility to pay off whatever costs someone else incurred from the actions of your children.

    “You break it, you buy it” applies to the actions of your kids too.

    “a young person in pain (maybe even agony!)”

    Which they brought upon themselves, thus little to no sympathy.

    Like a hangover, they did it to themselves and absent proof someone held a gun to their head to make them steal a car, why should anyone care?

    innocent, carefree kiddies laughing gaily as they dance in the summer sun do not steal cars and drive them at high speeds until they crash and burn.

    I’ll bet you a dollar the driver already has a record if not active gang membership.

    Comment by Jim P. — 12:44 pm July 9, 2014 #

  37. Christine or Mark,

    If you would like the assistance of the Admiral Neighborhood Association (ANA) to improve the traffic safety at that intersection please contact us.

    Last night was our July meeting and we take August off, but we would be happy to hear from you and work together on a solution promptly.

    ~David M. Whiting
    ANA President
    info@admiralneighborhood.org

    Comment by David Whiting — 1:05 pm July 9, 2014 #

  38. Bloodlust,

    I think this is what happens when a city becomes mired in political correctness, as Seattle is to a frightening extent. People are afraid to have honest conversations with each other in public and this drives them into the shadows. IMO, not good for anyone, regardless of your viewpoint.

    Comment by G — 3:33 pm July 9, 2014 #

  39. I stand by my original post.

    My post says nothing about the guilty parties abdicating personal responsibility nor did I advocate for the elimination of appropriate consequences.
    What I am saying is the comments, the name calling and the assumptions on this blog, which by the way is of no reflection of our whole community, are disturbing.

    Alki resident- you are making a lot of assumptions about a lot of people. You must realize this.

    Comment by au — 11:23 am July 10, 2014 #

  40. helridge, i hope somehow, someway, something will get your son to change his mind. I understand all to well the nightmares and horrors kids can release upon their parents. Hang in there, it CAN get better.

    Comment by au — 2:16 pm July 10, 2014 #

  41. I’ve been working on a followup to this and have received one important bit of information from police. The person who was injured and hospitalized – because he was trapped in the car when it hit the tree – was a PASSENGER, not the driver, according to the police report. I still need to follow up on a few more points before writing an update but that is the one bit of information that has changed from the information available at the scene as this happened. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 2:22 pm July 10, 2014 #

  42. Thank you, David, for the information about the Admiral Neighborhood Association (ANA). I will write to you. A neighbor told us that the circle idea for Walnut and Hinds was rejected in the past. That’s because that intersection is on a route that the fire department uses when called to an emergency. I’ll start by asking about that and other options.

    Comment by Christine — 3:14 pm July 10, 2014 #

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